My favorite movie is one I know nothing about. Nothing at all. It gives me the chance to consume content with an open mind. No expectations. No pre-judgment. The storyline waiting to decide its own fate in my perception. I’m the same way with vacations. Which is odd since I’m generally a creature of habit. At almost any restaurant I’m the person who doesn’t need to see the menu. I know what I like and will order the same thing nearly every time. A good vacation to me, though, is one I have no preconceptions of. A place I haven’t been with people I haven’t been there with. We decide how the adventure unfolds with no benchmark for fun or success. We haven’t yet seen the trailer expecting the entire movie to be as humorous or dramatic or action-packed as the 30-second preview exposes. An open canvas for raw emotion.
Planning and Executing Sizzle Video Production
Just over two years ago, Magnetic Creative was approached by consumer electronic startup, FUGOO, who introduced us to a product they were passionate about. They needed help bringing their passion and product to life. They would be unveiling their Bluetooth Speaker to the world at the Global Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in a few short months. The startup and their product grew on our team as we collectively planned our approach for the unveiling. Like watching a movie for the first time, we set out to deliver the same raw emotive response through our work as I look for in a movie or vacation.
With an aggressive timeline, the production of the video was quick and super fun. Our team set out to capture content for the video in 7 locations over a two-week time span. Inline with the video production we planned a full photography production to capture images for marketing collateral and web use. It was a hectic but fun few weeks. Chaos minimized by planning.
We needed to be more aggressive with its distribution to really make an impact for the brand
Once the content had been captured, the real work began. Post-production planning and timelines were set and motion graphics were designed and mapped into the video. We knew at that point where the video was intended to live but also knew we needed to be more aggressive with its distribution to really make an impact for the brand. In order to gain maximum traction for the video and our new digital assets, we planned a long term distribution strategy. The strategy consists first of our video marketing channel definition and then of our video marketing asset requirements. Accounting for this strategy and requirement list early allowed our team to streamline our work and generate maximum long term results in a short amount of time.
Before we jump into the video marketing strategy, let’s define the basics:
What is a Brand Sizzle Video?
Sizzle Videos are 2 to 5-minute videos which combine audio, visual, video and messaging into a quick overview of a product, brand or service. A well produced Sizzle Video will convey key messaging to consumers in a quick format in order to draw an immediate emotional response from viewers.
Also referred to as a promo video, sizzle reel, electronic press kit video, public relations video or media highlight reel. Sizzle Reels are meant to convey key messaging to consumers in a quick format. To quickly draw an emotive response from the audience providing an opportunity for longer-term brand advocacy.
As a startup or even an established brand, the ability to accurately convey your product or services unique selling proposition in unison with its personality while leaving an emotional connection on your audience is powerful. When executed well, a brand sizzle video can play a large role in your unveiling and brand voice definition helping you stand out to consumers in a sea of sameness. When planned correctly, the impact of branded sizzle videos can prove value long after the unveiling.
What is Video Marketing?
The definition of Video Marketing is using video to promote your brand, product or service. Videos can be used for advertising purposes in both short and long form in a variety of different ad-buying scenarios. The value in video marketing is realized through full communication abilities available in video content. Where text, image, and audio are often subjective communication platforms, video combines all to be more direct.
In 2015, digital video content was consumed more per day than social media. 2015 digital video consumption time is one hour and sixteen minutes per day for adults and even more impressive with millennials.
Millennials are now watching more digital video content than they are traditional TV.
With statistics like these only rising year over year, embracing video marketing is no longer an option. It’s a necessity to stay relevant.
Related Reading: Utilizing Emerging Media Channels – Twitch Advertising
Brand Sizzle Video Lifespan Extension through Video Marketing
The immediate need for a sizzle video generally falls inline with a trade show, product or website launch. Planning for extended distribution provides opportunity to give your new content a longer lifespan and larger audience. Video Marketing is often thought of as a separated initiative from brand videos. When planned correctly, the two can join forces to create exponential impact and increased return on investment.
Planning for extended distribution provides opportunity to give your new content a longer lifespan and larger audience
For optimal reach, your brand video marketing strategy should be planned early in the process, prior even to conceptualizing the video. Defining channel distribution strategies early allows teams to plan production with distinct delivery goals and success metrics in focus. Defining this strategy early provides extra planning time for channel outreach and generally equates to more calculated success. Something that comes in handy when battling short timelines and budget restraints.
Video marketing distribution channels break into two categories: Paid Video Marketing and Earned Video Marketing.
Paid Video Marketing Channels:
- Public Relations – planning PR efforts early allows for higher take rates and a more calculated distribution schedule. Creating this even distribution schedule positively impacts all down-funnel channels providing larger long term content reach.
- Media Placement – inline with public relations efforts, having a network of industry related news channels, bloggers and specific review channels ready for content publication allows for a more proactive distribution schedule. These channels are generally accepting of new content but more aggressive when approached with early information, proper timing and quality content assets. Your brand video will work wonders during media placement efforts especially when supplemented with lifestyle and product photography which can be captured during video production.
- Experiential Video Placement – often used in product related videos but also relative to service and overall branding. Developing a strategy for point of purchase, trade show and other live viewing scenarios allows your video production team to schedule time properly and be more deliberate during production and post production.
- Paid Social Media Distribution – working your new video assets into your social media calendar and defining paid placements per channel allows your video team to again schedule post production effectively.
- Social Influencer Outreach – securing social media influencers is time consuming. Putting the strategy, plan and team in place early provides opportunity for optimal effectiveness.
Earned Video Marketing Channels:
- Public Relations – Earned PR placement generally comes with industry buzz. Starting with a strategic influenced/paid PR effort generally equates to extended distribution through smaller sub-channels. Derive from your list of paid publications a list of supporting free placement publications you can reach out to after your content begins to take flight.
- Media Placement – with the right assets, it’s common to see your brand video show up in places you might not imagine. We’ve seen some of our work show up in TV broadcasts, digital media distribution and aspirational content messaging. Make your assets publicly availability and easy to access for press and media placement. Dropbox is a great resource for press material.
- Video Syndication – Much like Media Placement, when your video is available to public via YouTube or Vimeo, it’s common to see it shared amongst industry related content distributors adding further lifespan extension to your video marketing efforts.
- Earned Social Media Distribution – Through the above distribution channels, your content now has the opportunity to take social flight. Some obvious steps to help gain social virality are to offer up share buttons on your website and blog posts, share the content through your own social channels and promote sharing and recognize shares. Reaching out with a simple “thanks” goes a long way and will help grow your community while extending your brand voice.
Related Reading: Maddie Brenneman – Video Production Planning and Execution
Producing Video Marketing Assets from Your Brand Sizzle Video
In order to fill your longer term video marketing funnel, your team will need to break your sizzle video into multiple assets consisting of different aspect ratios, file formats and cut lengths. Putting the above strategy in place and defining your funnel early allows you to define file requirements prior to actual production. This list can generally be recycled and/or added to as your marketing channels mature. The key to success is knowing what you need before you spend time capturing and producing content. Doing so allows your team to, and client to streamline budgets and timeframes.
Below is a baseline list of video cuts to plan for while executing your video marketing strategy and video production:
- Full length Sizzle Video – Between 2 to 5 minutes in length
- Half length Teaser Video – 1 to 1.5 minutes used for PR and media short formats as well as social media teasers directing traffic to full length video
- Short Format Videos – multiple 30 second cuts used for pre-roll media placement, social media teasers :15 second Instagram promoted posts, :30 second cuts for paid pre-roll placement on YouTube, 1:00 teasers for targeted Facebook promotion, :06 second cuts for Vine placement
Additional digital asset creation:
- Still photography – used for web assets, social posting assets and general marketing material
- Audio clips – capturing production quality audio can be time consuming. Make sure to plan for the elements and capture extra audio content for production fills, emotional ambient enhancements and B-roll audio. Planning, packing the right gear and capturing good audio content will save you during post production.
Bringing the Team Effort to Fruition
Generating legitimate buzz for a brand, small or large, is no easy task. Not impossible, though. If you’re looking for a dynamic solution to launching (or relaunching) your brand, consider the above. A sizzle video may be unfamiliar territory to your brand. Similar to a movie you haven’t seen the trailer for… or a vacation to a place you’ve never been. Plan accordingly and be open to surprise. Like an open canvas, the best adventures always leave the most impact.
The original Sizzle Video produced for FUGOO, launched at CES in 2014
Visit the FUGOO Brand Story page to experience the full branding cycle and all work produced.